In consideration of new information from Thursday regarding documented community transmission of COVID-19 in North Carolina as well as indications from across the U.S. and from around the world, it appears that the State of North Carolina and we here in Moore County are moving into the acceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moving forward, the Moore County Health Department and its public health partners will be prioritizing our county’s most urgent needs which include managing cases and outbreaks in high-risk settings like healthcare and congregate living facilities.
In order to best protect the health of residents and to ensure the most efficient use of resources as we move into a period of potential widespread transmission, The Moore County Health Department is making the following guidance changes:
• All persons with fever and respiratory symptoms (including those with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19) should isolate themselves until the below conditions are met:
o At least 7 days since the onset of symptoms
o At least 72 hours have passed since symptoms have resolved. (this would mean the absence of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication and improvement in respiratory symptoms)
• All persons who have had close contact with a person with any respiratory illness are encouraged to stay home to the greatest extent possible and monitor themselves for respiratory symptoms
o The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “close contact” as being within six feet for 10 minutes or more
• If you develop emergency warning signs for respiratory illness, get medical attention immediately by calling 9-1-1. In adults, typical emergency warning signs are:
o Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
o Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
o New confusion or inability to arouse
o Bluish lips or face
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Social distancing or maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet away from others is recommended at this point on a community level to minimize or avoid any potential exposure. Residents are also urged to observe all directives from local and state government regarding closures and control measures.
Also, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Residents should also stay informed by seeking out reliable sources for their information on COVID-19. You can find updates on COVID-19 on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus and guidance from the North Carolina Division of Public Health at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. You can also visit the Moore County Health Department website at moorecountync.gov/health. A coronavirus helpline is also available for those who have questions or concerns at 1-866-462-3821.